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How To Save Money On Healthy Eating

The benefits of healthy eating outweigh the extra cost and the extra cost is not as much as you might think.

Want to save money at the grocery store? Use these tips to reduce grocery shopping costs without sacrificing #nutrition. Click through to download the FREE grocery shopping booklet for convenient and efficient money saving shopping. Pin it now to go grocery shopping later. #healthyliving #savemoneyongroceries #realfood #groceryshoppinglist #menuplantemplate

You don’t have to compromise healthy eating just because healthy foods can be more expensive.

As a personal trainer and yoga teacher the topic of nutrition and healthy eating is naturally a topic of conversation. While I do not give nutritional advice and information, I do share healthy lifestyle tips and suggestions so healthy eating is naturally a topic of conversation. In those conversations I often hear, “it’s too expensive to eat healthy.”

Do the benefits of healthy eating outweigh the extra cost? Is the extra cost actually as much as you think it is?

Based on an analysis of 27 studies, Harvard School of Public Health reports the cost of a healthy diet is about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets. With that price tag, over the course of a year a person will spend $550 more if they choose to eat healthy. Lets not forget the loss of productivity at work, and the mental and physical toll an unhealthy diet takes on the body.

The Center for Disease Control reports, the US spent more than $147 billion in obesity-related health care costs in 2008. The American Diabetes Association reports, in 2012 more than $245 billion was spent to cover diabetes-related costs.

Consider this, you would spend about $19.70 if you ate three meals a day at McDonald’s. You can eat well on $19.70 a day if you prepare the food yourself and often times that includes leftovers, cutting healthy eating costs even more.

So yes, healthy eating costs more, but when you consider health care costs associated with an unhealthy diet, the difference might not be as significant as you thought.

USE THESE TIPS TO REDUCE GROCERY COSTS WITHOUT SACRIFICING NUTRITION:

  1. BUY FROZEN Frozen foods are often cheaper than fresh. The bonus is frozen foods keep longer than fresh so there’s less waste and it’s already chopped.
  2. BUY DRY BEANS A bag of dry beans costs less than 1 can of beans and 1 bag will have enough beans for several meals. Batch cook the beans for healthy and convenient meals during the week.
  3. BUY IN BULK Check the unit price, buying a 10-pound bag of rice is a better deal than buying a 1 pound bag of rice. Amazon and big box stores like Costco have amazing deals on bulk items. And Amazon offers subscribe and save shopping that saves even more money.
  4. LIMIT BUYING PREPACKAGED ITEMS Buy prepackaged items only if you need it. Consider the cost of prepackaged salad mix. You’re paying for convenience and if cutting your grocery bill is the goal, buying heads of lettuce and making your own mix is the way to go. Plus, it tastes better and often lasts longer.
  5. SHOP FOR SEASONAL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES When produce is in season, the relative abundance of the crop usually makes it less expensive and it’s priced to sell.
  6. SHOP WITH A LIST Create a detailed shopping list based on your needs and weekly menu plan, and take into account how you plan on using leftovers. Going shopping knowing exactly what you need helps cut down on impulse buys, saves money and saves time.
  7. PLAN A MENU Planning ahead saves time and money and makes shopping with a list easier.
  8. GROW YOUR OWN Growing your own herbs and vegetables is a great way to save money and it can be done in pots if space is limited.
  9. BUY FROM BULK BINS WHEN IT MAKES SENSE The bulk bin items like rice, grains, and nuts are often less expensive and you can buy the exact amount you need.
  10. REDUCE WASTE Consider perishable items, think about exactly and when how you’ll use them. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans generate roughly 30 million tons of food waste each year. Using leftover vegetables and grains in soups, stews, salads, and casseroles minimizes cost.
  11. SHOP AS YOUR LOCAL FARMER’S MARKET A report released in 2011 by Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, found that prices at farmers’ markets for conventionally grown produce items were sometimes lower than they were at supermarkets. For organic items, farmers’ markets beat grocery stores every time hands down. In one study, non-organic farmers’ market cantaloupe, cucumbers, lettuce, and peas were better buys than their supermarket counterpart. Jake Claro said in an interview, “We’re starting to see enough competition among vendors at farmers’ markets that the prices are becoming competitive.”
  12. BUY GENERIC Consider buying store brands instead of pricier national brands. “All food manufacturers follow standards to provide safe food and beverage products of high quality,” says Robert Earl, director of nutrition policy for the Grocery Manufacturer Association. Many grocery companies buy national-brand products made to their specifications and simply put their own label on the products. Read the ingredient list on the label and sure you’re getting the most for your money.
  13. NAVIGATE THE HEALTHIEST AISLES Primarily shop the perimeter of the store where you’ll find more of the freshest foods and less of the prepackaged processed. For convenience, write your grocery list based on the layout of the store. That’s efficient AND healthy shopping.

I WOULD LOVE TO CHAT:

HOW DO YOU SAVE MONEY ON YOUR GROCERY BILL? WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU ADD TO THE LIST? DO YOU SHOP AT FARMER’S MARKETS? HAVE YOU TRIED AMAZON’S SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE?

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38 Comments

  1. Great tips. I’m a big fan of frozen foods. I always make sure I have some frozen veg as a minimum and I like to have some frozen fruits. I shop weekly and this means that if I run out of fresh fruit and veg it’s not a problem.

  2. All these tips are really helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  3. this is great groundwork to start a wonderfully healthy lifestyle!

  4. Andrea Broom says:

    This is awesome, I really like this it helps out a lot. Its true, I plan my meals and then go to the store, that way I spend a lot less. Truth be told sometimes I buy something that aren’t on the list. Hehehe.

  5. For me it’s just prioritizing how we spend our money. We rarely get takeout or go out to eat. That’s a huge savings to go to healthy foods. Plus, we grow a lot of our own!

  6. Great tips!! I will def save this to show others who complain to me that eating healthy is so expensive! Thanks for putting together the great downloads too!!

  7. Love this! I have a post that goes hand-in-hand with this one based on farm-fresh meats!

  8. Just started whole thirty and it has been so hard trying to keep the costs down grocery shopping. This was so helpful!

  9. This is a great post, thanks for sharing! I always struggle with spending too much money on food, so this will for sure be helpful in the future!

  10. I buy frozen a lot – however, in my new place, my freezer isn’t that big! I am actually toying with the idea of getting a small freezer for the pantry, ha! Because freezer foods are the best foods! Not only are they cheaper, like you said, but they’re so great for quick/fast meals!

  11. Love these tips especially buying in bulk and buying frozen!! Such a great way to save money

  12. Great printables. Great tips. Great post. It’s too easy for us to look at the immediate costs – time and financial. It’s so easy to get the cheap and fast food. And then we don’t consider how it effects our health and our wallet in health care costs down the line.

  13. I really need to start meal planning!!! I do buy a lot of dry good and things in bulk. But I am no good at making a plan for meals for the week. At times I go to the grocery store and figure it out then but take forever to figure out a few meals.

  14. What a great list! And those printables are awesome! What a great resource!

  15. Love the tips especially buy the frozen food. I did it all the time to save the left over. It’s convenient and cheaper. I bought frozen fish, seafood a lot. But still prefer to fresh vegetables. Thank for sharing this.

  16. Such great advice Jill! I try to keep the staples around the house in bulk and shop 1-2x per week for fresh foods. It makes it less stressful when I only buy what I need at a time.

  17. This is awesome! You hooked us up with the planning jackpot. I use to use coupons all the time then a Publix opened in our town, oh I love that place.

  18. Thanks for the helpful printables! Just got back from grocery shopping and could have used them. Next week! Also gonna challenge myself to shop the perimeter.

  19. These are really great tips! I sometimes struggle with that higher grocery bill–especially when I shop at Whole Foods, gulp–but then I remind myself how much better I feel when I eat healthy, real food. I also love the downloads in this post!

  20. I def feel like it is worth it to invest in the food that you eat.. what is more important than your health? Great post and I need to remember to check out farmers markets more often.

  21. Let me add one tip – coupons – they help too 🙂

  22. I find that meal planning alone…sitting down and making a menu…helps me create an accurate list. Also, not going with my husband or kids saves me money, too. HAHA!

  23. YES! All of these! I’ve gotten a lot better at lowering my grocery bill but still eating healthy!

  24. This is an awesome list! I personally couldn’t follow many of them while I was living in a dorm, but here in France I’ve been eating so many veggies! They are so much cheaper here than in the US its crazy! I don’t think I have even looked in the frozen aisle once!

  25. Great tips! My favorite savings strategy is searching the international aisle rather than the ‘regular’ aisles for deals. Quinoa, coconut milk, and spices are always cheaper in that aisle!!

  26. These are such great tips, Jill! And I agree, especially about buying generic (or Trader Joe’s!) I’ve been able to save a lot of money on things like almond butter by getting it at Trader Joe’s!

  27. Really great tips! I just started buying in bulk and it really can save some money!

  28. Less waste is important to me. The hubby does make a list and he loves to do the shopping. I love when we can hit the local farmer market for fresh veggies, everything just tastes better! All great tips and tools!

  29. I LOVE food shopping and these are definitely tips that I follow too! I always am conscious as to what I buy as I cannot stand wasting food, so I have realized that you can pretty much freeze anything, which is fabulous. 🙂 Happy Food Shopping! XOXO

  30. Great ideas and resources. We tend to eat really healthy and I know it can be affordable if you just do a little bit of homework!

  31. Thanks for the great resource…I definitely need to go to the food store with a plan or I forget to get items.

  32. Thank you for sharing this awesome and helpful guide, as well as those templates! I will be using this during my weekly grocery trip tomorrow.

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